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Fire Capital.

Daichi, Genma and Anko were investigating the man they know as Nam. They had spent almost three hours but there wasn't much useful information they could gather. They had split up and searched for information through several avenues but the results were disappointing.

Genma sighed as he rejoined with the other two.

"Anything?" Anko asked.

Genma shook his head. "Nothing other than the usual. A mid level merchant who moves all over Fire capital and the bordering countries. Nothing stands out about him. Just an ordinary guy. Standard background for espionage agents."

"Yeah. The same. The people I talked to barely had any impression of him." Anko spoke as she sat on a nearby rock.

"Genma sensei is right. That's by design. He's someone who people will forget easily in just a short time." Daichi spoke up. "From what I learned, he left the capital a few days ago on business. The few people who were in contact with him don't know where he went."

"His home was a bust as well. There's nothing that points us anywhere. He didn't keep any relevant information that could help us." Anko told them about her side of the investigation.

"Well, this wasn't a total waste of time. We now have a picture of the guy. With a clear description our odds of finding him are much higher."

Anko and Daichi looked at the Special Jonin.

"The guards here make sure the people who come here aren't in any disguises. So we can be certain that the description we got is real. So this trip wasn't a complete waste. Still, I was hoping to find much more." Genma spoke as he twirled the senbon from one end of his lips to the other.

Daichi crossed his arms and frowned. 'Damn it. Time is running out. There was nothing useful in that cabin and now this Nam guy has disappeared. Orochimaru is well prepared. He's taking every precaution possible.'

Daichi looked at the position of the sun and let out a deep breath of air. 'It's almost five in the evening. There isn't much point in waiting around here. I just hope my two clones can find something useful.'

One of the two shadow clones went to the palace of the Third Prince. He found out that the prince was on a trip and would only return in the evening, so he was waiting patiently hidden from everyone.

The second clone was swiftly making his way towards Orochimaru's main base.

Daichi thought about it and decided that he could only wait till he got more information. 'There must be some crucial information in Orochimaru's hideout.'

"We should head back to the village. I've made a copy of Nam's travel history. We'll give it to the analysis team when we get back to the village. Maybe we'll get a clue as to where Orochimaru's hideout is after they analyze the information."

Genma spoke and the two nodded. They began to leave the capital city.

A Few Kilometers away.

A team of 6 shinobi were standing atop a small hill overlooking the dense forest. A woman wearing a green dress and light blue hair, who stood at the front of the team turned her attention to the side.

"Have they entered the forest yet, Rinji?" Guren asked the man standing near her.

"I'm afraid not Guren. There is a chance we might have to wait a lot longer." The man with dark brown hair and loose fitting purple vest spoke. A ninja from the Land of Sound and the underling of Orochimaru.

Hearing the reply Guren frowned and looked ahead. 'So they haven't left the capital yet huh. This is going to be tricky. We followed their trail but it seems we were too late. I wanted to intercept them before they reached the capital to avoid wasting time.'

"We could capture the brat from the capital." One of the ninjas on the team spoke.

"No." Rinji shook his head. "The Fire capital has several powerful guards. Once we cause a scene we'll be in trouble. Our best chance is to wait for the Leaf ninjas to leave. Once they put some distance and enter the forest we'll get them."

Rinji then turned his attention to Guren. "They went to the Fire capital after going to that blown up cabin. I wonder why that is?"

Guren stayed quiet as she heard Rinji's question. 'They don't know that it belonged to Lord Orochimaru. That cabin was built for communication between several of Orochimaru's agents throughout the Land of Fire. The fact that the Leaf ninjas got to it… It means the information has been exposed. So the fact that they went to the capital right after… There might be a chance that those Leaf ninjas are investigating Nam. This is a problem. Looks like after I capture that brat, I'll have to kill the two who's with him.'

She slightly sighed and recalled the last meeting with her master and the orders he gave.


In a base in the Land of Sound, Kimimaro led Guren to his master as soon as she arrived.

"She is here my Lord." Kimimaro spoke and Guren half knelt in front of Orochimaru.

"Aahh… Guren. How nice of you to come so quickly." Orochimaru had a wide grin as he looked at the woman.

"Of course my Lord. How could I make you wait?" Guren replied with a smile.

"Hihihi… So eager to please."

"My Lord. Kimimaro told me that you're planning on attacking Tsunade Senju. Have you called me to take part in that mission?" Guren asked the Snake Sannin.

Orochimaru smiled and shook his head. "No. I already have a team assembled and ready for that. I called you here for a different reason."

Guren's eyes widened as she heard that. 'Whatever it is, it must be extremely important. I must not fail him.'

"No matter what task it is, I'll complete it, my Lord." Guren spoke with absolute loyal fervor.

"Kuku… I know I can trust you. Guren, I need you to complete two missions for me. Both of them are extremely vital to my plans."

Guren knelt and silently waited for her master's orders.

"Your first task is to locate Kabuto and inform him that his mission in the Leaf village has come to an end. The information he's gathered is enough for now. After tomorrow's attack the Leaf will be on guard. They'll definitely be looking for any spies who've infiltrated their ranks and I don't want Kabuto to be caught."

Orochimaru gave her the first task and at that moment Kimimaro gave her a small scroll.

"That scroll contains information on Kabuto's current mission given by the village. It also includes the routes he's taken. Intercept him and inform him of the change in the plans. But remember, you should only make your move tomorrow night."

Guren nodded. "Yes. Of course my Lord. What is the second task you want me to complete?"

"Tsunade's student. A Genin named Daichi Hekima. He's extremely talented and is crucial to my plans. I want him."

Guren's eyes widened as she listened. 'Wait. Does that mean… My Lord… Is he your next vessel… Am I not worthy?'

Guren kept her thoughts and emotions to herself and listened.

Orochimaru looked at the woman in front of him and spoke. "Once news reaches the village that Tsunade was attacked, I doubt the boy would be able to sit still. He will definitely try to find her. When he leaves the village, I want you to capture him alive and bring him to my base at 'that' location."

Kimimaro gave another scroll to the blue haired woman. "This contains detailed information on Daichi Hekima. From his appearance to his skills. Use it to form an efficient plan."

"Yes. It will be done, Lord Orochimaru."

"Guren. Remember. I want him unharmed. So try not to damage him. Your mission is to subdue him and bring him to the location marked on the scroll. Memorise the information and destroy the scroll."

"Yes my Lord. If he's just a Genin, completing this mission won't be a challenge at all." Guren spoke with a confident tone.

The Snake Sannin chuckled hearing that. "Hihi. I wouldn't be too sure of that. His strength is far beyond Genin. His talent and potential... It might even be greater than yours."

Guren was startled to hear that. 'What? A child with such power?... No wonder. It's no wonder Lord Orochimaru wants him.'

"I understand my Lord."

"Good. Make sure to destroy the scroll. The information on that should only be known to you till the task is completed. Once you've brought him to that location, wait for my further instructions."

Guren bowed her head and spoke in a respectful tone. "Yes my Lord. I understand."

"Excellent. Kimimaro will take it from here. I have to prepare." With those words Orochimaru disappeared into the darkness and Guren stood.

"Come. I already have a team assembled." The last member of the Kaguya clan spoke and led the blue haired woman through several hallways. Soon that reached a large room. 12 people were waiting in that room.

"All of them are Lord Orochimaru's experiments and have been bestowed with special abilities." Kimimaro spoke as he looked at them.

The 12 individuals were prisoners of Orochimaru that had undergone various experiments. They had strange appearances and some of them had different weapons attached to their bodies.

The member of the Kaguya clan then pointed to two people who stood in the corner of the room. "Among the 12, those two are the strongest. Rinji and Gozu. You can use them as you see fit to complete the two tasks."

"Yes. I'll be done with my assignments soon." Guren nodded.

Kimimaro looked at the woman and knew just how strong she was. So he had faith in her abilities. But he still gave a short warning.

"Good. And remember. Failure is not an option."

With those words he walked away.

Guren slightly frowned but didn't say anything as she looked at the leader of the Sound Five. She turned her attention to the rest of the people in the room and then walked to a nearby chair.

"Alright, listen up. I'm your team leader now. We have two very important missions to complete. We move out in an hour." Guren spoke as she looked at the large group. She had an arrogant smile as she looked at them.

Three of the prisoners got angry as they heard her condescending tone.

"This woman. Who do you think you are huh." A man almost 7 feet tall with bulky muscles stepped forward and looked at Guren.

Gathering courage, two others from the group also stepped forward. "You don't look like you could beat any of us."

"Yeah. Maybe Lord Orochimaru made a mistake. If you want to be the leader, you're gonna have to prove your strength to us, little girl." The person who spoke had light skin, several scars on his face and body. The most notable detail was the large machete that was attached to his right elbow.

Guren chuckled as she looked at the three. "There's always a few idiots…"

Hearing those words the three got angry and took a step forward. The next moment Guren made her move.

She made a hand seal and several long, sharp pink crystals shot at the tall bulky man at the front. The crystals came from the floor, the ceiling and the walls surrounding them. The fast attack instantly ripped through the man's body shredding him to pieces.

Seeing this horrific scene the two others who were arrogant a second ago were suddenly afraid. But it was too late for them as well.

"Crystal Style - Crystal prison!"

A second later pink crystal appeared below their feet and completely covered them before they could figure out what was even happening.

The two people were completely encased in her jutsu.

Guren chuckled seeing the terrified faces of the people in the room. She raised her hand and snapped her finger once and the next instant, the two crystals shattered into tiny pieces.

"Does anyone else have a problem with me being the leader?" Guren asked and everyone was silent and averted their gazes.

After showcasing a fraction of her power, Guren focused on the task her Lord gave her. She opened the second scroll and read through the details and was very surprised.

'A student of the Legendary Sannin Tsunade Senju. His medical skills are rumored to be almost on par with his teacher. His chakra control and physical skills are all exceptional. Based on this information, this brat might be a high chunin level ninja or maybe even a low Jonin… Not bad for a brat… This is going to be tricky…'

Flashback End.

As the team stood there, suddenly a bat flew from the forest and landed on Rinji's arm. It sent a sonic whistle to Rinji's mind and his eyes widened. He turned to the team leader and smiled.

"Guren. They've entered the forest."

The blue haired woman smiled hearing that. "Hahaha… Good. About time. Let's proceed."